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A Life in Full

I want to start with a bit of humor, because it’s about to get serious!

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And now to the real!

I recently saw a “religious” post on Instagram. It was a selfie of a man with a caption that basically said, “I was just kicked out of a bookstore because they caught me putting all of the Bibles in the fiction section”. There were lots of hearts expressing approval, and expressive comments laughing at the humor of the post.

I have seen several posts on social media that express the idea that there is no God. There is a large movement that believes that it is intellectual to question the existence of God. Many say that they believe in science instead. Poor and desperate people are “believers”. Those in prison, and especially those on death row, only believe in God because they are “cramming for finals”.

I am not going to spend the space of this blog in defending my beliefs. Instead, I would like to write about what I experienced on Monday, as a response to all those who believe that Bibles belong in the fiction section. It’s really a way to remember a wonderful lady.

Monday, I attended the funeral of my aunt at Arlington National Cemetery. She was being buried next to my Uncle Gene, who had been buried there in March, 2016. Here’s a picture of my aunt from that day in 2016; as we were sitting in the waiting area, ready to be called for my uncle’s graveside ceremony.

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On Monday, as we were now waiting to be called for my aunt’s ceremony; her daughter (my cousin) reminded us of why she was being buried next to my Uncle Gene. My uncle had retired from the Navy, as a Commander. At the beginning of his career, they discussed whether she and the family would move, whenever Uncle Gene’s Navy career would change where he was stationed.

At the beginning of his Navy career, she told him that “wherever he went… she would follow“. The family could have chosen her burial at other locations besides Arlington. She had lived many years in Florida. However, they had decided long ago that they would both be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. An expression again of their love and life together. Once again, where he went… she would follow.

While we are all saddened by this loss, we are also lifted by the thought that where Uncle Gene has gone, she has once again followed. The belief that there was a wonderful reunion in heaven.

As we all talked about my aunt, we reminisced about how she lived for her husband; for her children and grandchildren; and for others. On that day in 2016, in that picture above; she knew that there would be a time that she would again see my uncle. On Monday, there was nothing fictional about the certainty of heaven.  A life lived in full.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

 

Whenever I write a serious blog, I always wonder if I should end with our typical pic o’ days. Then I remember how they make me laugh… and of course that’s how we must end the blog!

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A Blog in Pictures

Yes… it’s a bit of laziness and a bit of busyness. Let’s tame the busyness! Or maybe it’s just the storm. For all of those… today’s blog is in pictures!

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Right! And how about this thought?

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Because I never tire of dogs driving cars!

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and some good thoughts on hiring from Warren Buffett.

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and finally… how about a root beer that makes you Roar! It’s not just for breakfast! Not sure I could stand the taste but I do like the thought.

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Let’s keep it rolling! The best preparation for tomorrow is tackling today!

A Good Memory From Plants

Today I am starting and ending Our Blog with dog pictures…because they make me laugh!

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Today is the first day of spring. Can I wear white pants yet? Just sayin’

Sometimes I catch myself just thinking about a friend or family member who have gone on to heaven.  I think how I miss them; but I also smile, as I think of good memories.

For instance, I can remember my first bite of cheesecake.  My grandfather ordered it at a restaurant named Johnny’s, outside of Elkton, Maryland. I was eight-years-old and I was having a hard time understanding how a cake could be made out of cheese. Plus, it looked more like a pie. He asked me if I wanted a bite… and I was hooked on cheesecake for a lifetime! In many areas of my life, I am still impacted by my grandfather. Yes I know, not a serious story but… I miss him!

A story posted last year in Huffington Post reminded me of how we can be impacted by others, long after they are gone. The article was titled Woman Pulls Hilarious Plant-Watering Prank On Husband Years After Her Death. The title made me laugh, even before I started to read the content.

Here is a picture of Phedre and Nigel Fitton before she passed away.

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Shortly before she lost her battle to cancer, the 69-year-old asked her husband to keep watering the plants in the bathroom of their South Africa home.

He faithfully did so for several years. Recently, his family assisted him in moving into a retirement home. That’s when the discovery was made. It was pointed out to him by family members that the plants he had been watering at his wife’s request… were made of plastic.

Here is how his daughter described it on her instagram account

Before my mum passed away, she gave my dad strict instructions to water the plants in the bathroom. He’s been religiously watering them & keeping them alive. They look so amazing he decided to take them to his new home, only to discover they are plastic! Can hear my mum chuckling.

In sadness, there is a happy remembrance. I love that story!

And for pic o’ day….

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Helping Each Other

First, let’s start Our Monday Blog with a little spirit, and then on to the story:

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The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer. It’s the feeling of being uncared for, unwanted. Of being deserted and alone.” Mother Teresa

Last year, the Washington Post wrote a story titled “He pushed an elevator’s alarm button but no one came, officials say. Weeks later, his body was found“. It is the story of a cry for help… and no one was there.

An 82-year-old man was seen in the parking lot of his Denver apartment building. He was heading to the apartment leasing office. According to the account, he walked to his mailbox, stopped by the leasing office to pick up a few things; and no one knew where he went after that.

He had been experiencing dementia issues, according to his daughter. So, immediately his family was worried. Days went by with no one seeing or hearing from him. They did know that physically he was not capable of walking far from his apartment.

Picture posters and fliers were distributed throughout the Denver area.  Firefighters scoured the area, including even searching five nearby ponds.

A month went by. Finally, maintenance workers at a nearby garage found a decomposed body in an elevator. The body was soon identified as the missing man.

Authorities began to piece together what had happened. At some point, he had stepped inside the parking garage elevator. The reason for that is unknown. Once inside the elevator, he struggled to get out.

In an attempt to seek help, He had pushed the elevator’s emergency button twice over the course of eight minutes…but no one responded.

The electronic records from the elevator’s emergency alarm show that it was pressed at 9:09 p.m. and 9:17 p.m., a day after he had last been seen.

According to officials, pushing this emergency button should have triggered an alert to an elevator monitoring company or the fire department. But no company received the alert and the fire department received no emergency calls from that elevator. No one was there to help.

I cannot end the blog on that story. Instead, here is a more recent story about a random act of kindness in another story from the Washington Post titled At the Waffle House, she cut up a customer’s food for him. It changed her life.

An 18-year-old waitress noticed that her elderly customer was having difficulty cutting up his food. He was having difficulty because his hands did not work well. Without much thought, she says that she “took his plate and began cutting his ham”.

The attached story about her act of kindness also tells how it changed her life. A reminder that helping others in need is actually a way of helping Us!

For pic o’ day today… I feel like I just need to post something completely unrelated. So here goes for all kite lovers. You are the Decider and you Decide!

 

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This, That and Food Thoughts

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I come to Our Friday Blog, which usually means that I feel freedom to wander. Here we are in March. In fact, March Madness basketball has me completely distracted today. I cannot wait to see what the blog is about. (Oh wait…)

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to lose 5 pounds. Only 9 more pounds to go! But I think I know why. I started a 14 day diet. I enjoyed the food on it so much that I finished it in 2 days.

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I saw a funny quote on Facebook. “Welcome to Plastic Surgery Addicts Anonymous. I am seeing a lot of new faces in the crowd this week and I just have to say, I am really disappointed”.

The Law of Association: You will become the average of the people that you spend the most time with.

And here is a thought on decisions. Did you know that on February 1, 2008, Microsoft tendered an offer for close to 45 billion dollars to buy Yahoo? Yahoo rejected the offer because their CEO, Jerry Yang, said that the bid “substantially undervalues Yahoo”. In 2016, Yahoo was bought by Verizon for 4.48 billion dollars. Hmm

If someone offers you a breath mint… never turn it down.

Can you write “never odd or even” backwards?

And finally, I am still focused on my bad decision making. Not as bad a Yahoo! But, I strangely found myself eating Nachos yesterday (because I gave myself the excuse that I was watching the tournament) Now that I sit here…not so  proud of my lunch selection… this pic o’ day just seemed appropriate.

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Have a great weekend!

Useless, Useful and Interesting?

 

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Our Blog starter picture just seemed to fit the title today. I hope the following items below will be Useful and Interesting, instead of all falling into the category of Useless! That decision is in the eye of the beholder!

I just learned that McDonald’s has a category of customers that they call “Heavy Users“. To “join that category” you need to eat there ten times per month. If you want McDonald’s to categorize you as a “Super Heavy User“, apparently you need to eat there an average of 3-5 times per week. Quite a frequent eaters club .

Renowned gangster Al Capone carried business cards that said he was a used furniture dealer. I wonder if he liked cork floors for the rec room?

I just saw some good advice. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. Note to self!

The word “gorilla” is derived from a Greek word that means “a tribe of hairy women”. It’s from the history of Hanno the Navigator. (I am frightened to even comment on this)

I am very fascinated with the power of the sugar industry. Here is an interesting article  from Manila Bulletin Business titled How Big Sugar killed a 1968 study that pointed to a heart disease link. The power of sugar!

And now, a couple of random thoughts. (As though all the previous “stuff” is not random!) Sometimes I want to post a blog on what I am reading or what I am watching. I just never do. But, since this blog is aimlessly heading somewhere unknown; I thought it might be a good time to throw some crazy in the mix.

I am watching and reading many things… all at the same time…just because. Here are two things:

First, a current non-fiction book that I am reading is Survive Like A Spy by Jason Hanson.  It says on the cover that Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe In a Dangerous World And How You Can Too. (I suspect you weren’t expecting this book!) It reads like a novel.

And what is something I am watching? Here’s one on Netflix : The Toys that made us.  There are four episodes. The one about Barbie suggests that Mattel has been ruthless in fighting the competition throughout the years. Very interesting!

And finally, I close Our Blog today with a quote/reminder from Henry Ford. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t- you’re right.”

And for our pic o’ day… I have posted this in the past, but it’s one of my keepers because it gets me everytime I see it. Dogs are great! And this cat is a team player

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As Smart as Einstein!

I wanted to give you something to think about in Our Blog.

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For today’s blog, I decided to look online for Albert Einstein’s top ten quotes. I remembered reading those in the past. I was especially looking for quotes on keeping things simple. Then when I googled it, I found a lot more. And even if 55 are too many, number 55 is even a good one. I probably got a little crazy in posting them all… but here they are!

From addicted2success.com comes 55 Mind-Blowing Albert Einstein Quotes.

1. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

2. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

3. “Truth is what stands the test of experience.”

4. “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

5. “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

6. “There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.”

7. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

8. “Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.”

9. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

10. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

11. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

12. “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

13. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

14. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” 

15. “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

16. “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

17. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

18. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

19. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

20. “Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” 

21. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

22. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

23. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

24. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

25. “Information is not knowledge.”

26. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

27. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

28. “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” 

29. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

30. “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”

31. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

32. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

33. “You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one.”

34. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

35. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

36. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

37. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

38. “The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”

39. “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

40. “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

41. “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”

42. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

43. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

44. “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” 

45. “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”

46. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

47. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

48. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

49. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

50. “Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”

51. “As a human being, one has been  endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.”

52. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” 

53. “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”

54. “Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.”

55. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

And finally… I think this can be classified as more wisdom.

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A Movie… Predicting Technology?

It’s Monday… is it time to refuel?

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I know… I am being crazy. I didn’t want to seem mean with that picture. I really can relate! In the past, I can remember “rewarding” myself with cake. (and maybe cheesecake too) And how can you be angry at cake?

Now… on to some smart stuff:

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OK, some real smart stuff.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is turning 50 years-old next month. (Wikipedia) It was the highest grossing movie of 1968. In 1991, it was described as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

But how did the writer/director (Kubrick) and writer (Arthur C. Clarke) see into the future of technology and predict the iPad and flat screen televisions?

In the movie, there are flat screened tablet computers. Of course, this was long before there was any talk of flat-screened televisions. It did not make the final cut of the movie, but the original plan was to even include a touch screen. Here is a shot from the movie:

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These “tablet computers” were called “Newspads“. They looked portable in the movie, even though they were welded into the tables for special effect purposes.

So how did they do it? Kubrick and Clarke met with an MIT cognitive scientist, who was also an artificial intelligence pioneer. The artificial intelligence computer in the movie is named “HAL” which stood for “Heuristic Algorithmic”. That meeting, coupled with their own thoughts is part of the history of how they did it.

The Wikipedia attachment does more justice to the production and legacy of the movie. In fact, I was going to compare some of this technology to Facebook. Then, I read about how this movie was included in a recent lawsuit. (Wall Street Journal article that requires subscription, so not attached)

It is probably not surprising that the lawsuit involves Apple. The first iPad was released in 2010. Samsung released a sim­i­lar de­vice about a year later. Then, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung’s defense to the lawsuit alleged that Apple did not invent the iPad. The proof was that the device was already in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Right in the pleadings! You did not invent what was shown in 1968.

Sam­sung’s movie defense included photos attached to their answer, as well as YouTube links from the film.  The judge ul­ti­mately ruled that the photos and links were in­ad­mis­si­ble as ev­i­dence. But, this just added to the mystique of the movie and Kubrick’s vision of the future of technology.

I have always been fascinated with Steve Job’s determination about that lawsuit:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” —Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson, March 2010.

Here is more information on what happened in the lawsuit. (here) How about that?

And for pic o’ day, I searched for a “smart picture and we ended up with… more smart pups:

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Just Some Random Positivity

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I have this picture on my iPad and I regularly look at it. I love this little girl’s positivity and I also feel positive when I look at the kindness and the power of encouragement of these window washers.

I am a believer in the concept that if you replace negative thinking with positive thinking…positive things will happen.

I saw a book review on the following title:

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE YOU MAKE

Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old 

It was written by John Leland. I just thought that it has some good positive reminders on happiness in life, based on looking back at life. Here’s what he says, “Live in the present. Focus on the good things. Find your purpose. Love unconditionally. Accept adversity. Feel gratitude. He says to acknowledge that “problems were only problems if you thought about them that way. Otherwise they were life — and yours for the living.”

At the end of his life, Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened“.

Every now and then someone will ask me for some advice on life. I have thought about that a lot. If I could travel back in time to talk about life with young Joel Bieber… I would tell him that it’s all going to work out, and don’t worry so much about it.

I wanted to close the blog today with something positive… but not heavy. Then I saw this again and I laughed:

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Happy Too!

I always like to start Our Monday Blog with some positivity. This pic o’ qualifies as reaching goals. Right?

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While driving down the road recently, I saw a billboard advertisement for a grocery store chain that simply said, “Groceries Delivered“. That seems to meet a need, but it also is becoming more popular. Perhaps the aggressiveness of Amazon is causing everyone to step up their game in the grocery business.

I remember being one of the first law firms to advertise “We will come to you“. I had noticed a trend of several new potential clients failing to show up for their appointments at the office. I learned that once someone had crashed their car, it made it very difficult to come to our office. Missing the appointment made total sense. I had to come up with a solution… going to their home on their time.

Which brings me to the thought of how to step up our service now? What message or new service could I advertise.

I love the positivity of my father-in-law. When someone asks him for help, he regularly responds with, “Happy Too“. Be willing and ready to help! If I could convey that in all of our ads… then I have maintained our true hopeful message. If someone needs our help… I hope that they feel our response of “Happy Too”!

 

And finally, for our pic o’ day, I think many of us relate to this as we sit in that chair!

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